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Saddle problems and a hard to fit horse

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  • #21
    Well, I'm back. And I've thought for awhile about what to say. Because the fact is, I can indeed think of many British saddles that I think would be wonderful fits on this horse and would be highly appropriate for the A circuit. I also think he can be fit very competently in a *small and specific selection* of French and Italian saddles that hunterrider23 would find aesthetically pleasing. And if that's what she wants, and the horse can wear it comfortably, why not give her what she wants? Besides, if she lives in a barn culture that's dominated by foam panelled saddles and she's 16, I think her parents might have a cow when they find out that most wool-flocked saddles will need attention from a fitter each year. And if she's the only one in the barn with a wool-flocked saddle, her parents will pay the full farm call for that. If you're an adult, you just open up your checkbook and say ah. If you're 16 and at the mercy of your parents, it could all get ugly fast. If it makes the Wool Cops feel better, I did leave Amerigo on my list below; their particular blend of synthetic wool flocking tends to hold its shape really well, so if she can fit her horse in an off-the-rack Amerigo (and I think those odds are good), then the saddle-fitter-farm-call issue will not be so relevant.

    First let's talk about the horse. Many of the pictures are not useful for fitting purposes, but these are okay:
    http://www.ibisfarm.com/images/BeachwalkH&H.png
    https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphot...98801901_n.jpg (one of the hind legs are cocked, so I had to use my imagination to infer what he'd look like if it weren't cocked)
    https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphot...17852145_n.jpg

    This horse couldn't be further from the horse I was picturing based on the OP's description. I would describe him as moderately curvy with a high wither, slight dips behind the wither that would benefit from a gently built-up panel in the front, well-sprung ribs that necessitate a flatter panel toward the rear of the saddle. Finding a French saddle that has a built-up front panel, a rear panel that lies flat enough for this horse, and a tree size that's not wide as a youse...well, it doesn't leave a super long list, but it's very doable. As in, I did it about eight weeks ago with another similar horse--in fact, if anything, he was more challenging than this one. I am purposely avoiding saying which saddles I have in mind because hunterrider23, you *do not* want to try and find them on your own. You will find the bizarre and varied notations of French brands' panel and tree codes almost dizzying in their complexity, especially to someone who has little knowledge of saddle fit. The Luc Childeric is your first cheap lesson in how that goes.

    I also do not suggest that you buy a brand-new $4000 French saddle. Getting brand reps from the brands I have in mind for your horse, at this time of the year when many southern reps are working the Florida circuit...well, that alone is a fool's errand. Now add in "only a few French/Italian brands will really suit this horse well" and "considering only the brands I'd trust to send a rep who actually knows what they're talking about and won't botch the fit" and "Gee I hope they have a demo saddle in their truck that might fit this horse worth a darn so the OP can get a good feel for it before gambling $4000 on a new saddle," now we're talking crazy talk.

    In your position, I'd work via mail order with several of the country's most reputable dealers in *used* French and Italian saddles. These folks who are not only good at analyzing pictures and tracings but also carry a wide range of French/Italian tack and know which panel/tree/brand options will best suit you and your horse. Their stock will also be potentially much cheaper than your $4000 budget maximum; even if you end up spending a little money on mail ordering saddles and sending a few back after the trial period, you will end up spending far less than $4000 total. Wouldn't it be nice to have some money left over?

    If you're working with good vendors, it rarely takes more than two or three rounds to get this right. Many good vendors are also happy to look at pictures of your saddle while you have it on trial; they want to ensure that you are placing the saddle at the right spot on the back, they want to see how it fits your horse and you, etc.

    I know you're all freaked out about taking a wither tracing, but it's truly not difficult. If you can learn to bridle a horse, you can learn to do a wither tracing, and it only takes about $10 of supplies from your local office supply store. Some good tutorials:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTXGWiIiX2A
    http://www.trumbullmtn.com/saddle-fi...ther-tracings/

    But before you take any tracings, get in touch with these vendors and ask what kind of additional info you could provide to them to make things even easier. For example, some of them might wish to see the pictures of you riding in your current saddle, or better pictures of the horse (a la this link http://www.trumbullmtn.com/saddle-fi...addle-fitting/) etc.:

    Patricia at Fine Used Saddles
    http://www.fine-used-saddles.com/saddlefit.htm

    Rachel at I Sell Tack.com
    http://www.iselltack.com/

    Cori McGraw of High End Used Saddles
    http://www.highendusedsaddles.com/aboutme.htm

    Ann Forrest of Equestrian Imports (ask her particularly about Amerigo, which I think somebody else mentioned above.)
    http://equestrianimports.com/shop/fu...r/info_14.html

    Brittany Haynie at Saddle Solutions
    http://saddlesolution.com/

    If those five ladies can't find you a great match on a $4000 budget, my mind will be blown. There are plenty of other places to buy high-end French and Italian tack, but those are the vendors I would trust to help you actually fit a saddle to horse and rider. Start with them. They will either be able to find things from their inventory that would work, or they can explain to you exactly what these Majickal Mystery Saddles are that I have in mind and you can chase them down through other vendors that carry lots of French/Italian tack but don't provide much help in the saddle fit department.

    Finally, a brief word about the pictures of you in your current saddle. Given that most French tack rides a little small, and your Pessoa is a little small for you once we imagine you with your stirrups up a hole or two (as you said you are now riding), consider that you may need a bigger seat size in a high-end French saddle. Consult the pros on this matter.

    Best of luck.
    Last edited by jn4jenny; Dec. 20, 2012, 09:52 AM.
    Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/

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    • #22
      Originally posted by vxf111 View Post
      Spinoff, but j4j when I ordered my Quantum I asked the rep if I could get it with the same styling as yours (well, I didn't use your NAME but I asked for the same options as what you had). I was told no. I went ahead and ordered the traditional Quantum and I'm happy with it... but I kind of wonder whether it was BC or my rep being uncooperative? When did you order yours and you don't happen to still have the specs written out the way you ordered it-- do you? Longshot I know... but for the future... I adore adore adore my Quantum but I won't lie, I'd slightly rather it looked like your former saddle.
      Hi V - Unfortunately I bought that BC Quantum used. I do know for sure that it was called "the close contact flap" as this is info that I acquired from a BC dealer who has long since gotten out of the business. I also know that I didn't own the only one. I've seen at least three other Quantums that were made with that flap.

      Your new Ideal saddle looks delightful.
      Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/

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      • #23
        Originally posted by jn4jenny View Post
        Hi V - Unfortunately I bought that BC Quantum used. I do know for sure that it was called "the close contact flap" as this is info that I acquired from a BC dealer who has long since gotten out of the business. I also know that I didn't own the only one. I've seen at least three other Quantums that were made with that flap.

        Your new Ideal saddle looks delightful.
        Yeah, I think my rep was the one who was unwilling to be creative/dig into the option and not BC. Good to know for the future.

        I am really happy with the Ideal. The leather is great (except for the billets which are made of the ugliest leather on earth-- go figure, who does that?!), broke in beautifully, and I am really happy with how the saddle fits. I do, actually, prefer it to my Black Country which surprises me! I did not ADORE the sort of new-fangled look of the Ideal at first (I'm traditional!) but it's grown on me and, as mentioned, it fools people into think it's some snazzy new Beval or CWD at times so even if I'm a fuddy duddy, that look must be where the world is heading
        ~Veronica
        "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
        http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

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        • #24
          Wanted to add in on a saddle that may surprise you of it options

          TADA

          Butet-
          Yes I for years would ride in several , our barn has over 30 of them and while I loved the way I felt I knew it would not fit my horse.

          Until I got to looking a one that came into the barn and the panel system looked like no other Butet I have seen before.

          So next day on the phone with Beval Fitter from NJ and to my IGNORANCE
          Butet has a variety of panel options to fit the most difficult .

          I did order one and it is unbeleivable of the way it fits .
          I have had all these customs
          County - xtr stabilizer -yuck
          County - Innovation - yuck
          Richard Castelow- Great for the horse needs more detail for rider
          Amerigo- Beautifil but to much saddle for me
          ANtares - Rocked back and forth like an acdc concert - yuck

          What most dont know is Butet can be adjust in the foam
          and yes there is degrees of foam,
          CWD proves that I test rode one and omg could not believe the poor quality of the panels. Loved the balance for me though.

          My configuration allowed to have a standard tree with panel options that moved the panels away from the spine at the stirrup bars to that have a nice fuller rear panel that makes COMPLETE contact with the back , my gullet is more generous than most saddles I flip over but amazingly contours the back with full contact without a girth or girthed up. My vote is for Butet if you have the money and patience to learn what the options are .

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          • #25
            Originally posted by sweetpea View Post
            My vote is for Butet if you have the money and patience to learn what the options are .
            ...And when she does learn what the options are, she's going to learn that Butet does not make a panel for her horse's particular set of fitting challenges. Butet's custom panel lineup is primarily designed for fitting bulky horses who need stuff cut *out* of the panel, not extra padding added *into* the panel. I spoke at WEG 2010 to them about whether they planned to fit the OP's particular set of fitting challenges as IMO they are very common, and they had no such plans. They had recently added the ESP panel to accommodate a horse who has a high wither + significant dropoff on each side of the spine, but that's really more for a slab-sided TB type who needs support everywhere on its entire back, not only in the front as the OP's horse does.

            This is a classic example of why I suggested that the OP work with a good used dealer who knows the brands well. It's a lot easier to just call one person who knows the various brands' customization possibilities than to investigate them one by one, falling in love over and over again with lovely saddles that will never fit the OP's horse.
            Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/

            Comment


            • #26
              Well I am sorry but there are more options

              [QUOTE=jn4jenny;6733633]...And when she does learn what the options are, she's going to learn that Butet does not make a panel for her horse's particular set of fitting challenges. Butet's custom panel lineup is primarily designed for fitting bulky horses who need stuff cut *out* of the panel, not extra padding added *into* the panel. I spoke at WEG 2010 to them about whether they planned to fit the OP's particular set of fitting challenges as IMO they are very common, and they had no such plans. They had recently added the ESP panel to accommodate a horse who has a high wither + significant dropoff on each side of the spine, but that's really more for a slab-sided TB type who needs support everywhere on its entire back, not only in the front as the OP's horse does.

              This is a classic example of why I suggested that the OP work with a good used dealer who knows the brands well. It's a lot easier to just call one person who knows the various brands' customization possibilities than to investigate them one by one, falling in love over and over again with lovely saddles that will never fit the OP's horse.[/

              Op
              I am not sure what rep was at world games but the fitter in NJ went to France last year and has continued to provide more options. There is panels and tweaks that are not listed on the site, so if you intersted pm and I will provide you with the contact information. The

              Comment


              • #27
                I just want to add that I have an Albion and I love it! It has fit decently on several horses and is very comfy. It's an older deep seat model and it feels like I'm sitting a lounge chair. I've never seen another one but it definitely has lasted me for a while and been a great saddle.

                Comment


                • #28
                  mybad, wrong thread
                  ~Veronica
                  "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                  http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

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